Province to target left-lane huggers

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says love of the left lane seems to be a Left Coast thing, and he's working on a solution

New signs are being put up on B.C. highways to encourage people not to block the left lane.

New signs are being put up on B.C. highways to encourage people not to block the left lane.

The left-lane-hugging road hog seems to be a species that particularly flourishes in B.C. It can often be seen trailing a line of vehicles on the highway, or cutting across lanes of traffic on right turns to get to its preferred habitat.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone says he’s spent time in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, and this inappropriate love of the left lane seems unique to the Left Coast. So he’s looking at legal changes to make it easier to enforce the practice of keeping the left lane open for passing.

Stone told reporters Tuesday the issue came up often in last year’s rural speed limit review.

“One of the key things we heard from British Columbians all around the province was this frustration with left-lane hogs, people who tend to camp out in the left lane and seem to think that the left lane and right lane are there to serve the same purposes,” Stone said. “They’re not.”

One result of that review is a new road sign to replace the “slower traffic keep right” and “keep right except to pass” wording used in B.C. “Keep right – let others pass” with a graphic is the new design and it seems to be having some educational effect, Stone said.

Accident studies have shown that frustrated drivers following too closely or passing on the right are risk factors. Premier Christy Clark said the problem should be dealt with, but she added a caution.

“I think we should go a little bit easy sometimes on the folks who are in the left hand lane going a little bit slow,” Clark said. “I think about my 75-year-old mother driving down the road, and sometimes she’s in the wrong lane, and it might be really frustrating for the people behind her. But we should try to be respectful and civil about that.”

Stone declined to give specifics about what legislative changes are coming. Police told the ministry last year the existing law isn’t clear and tickets can be overturned in court challenges.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
Pacheedaht Nation says activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Pacheedaht is concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School. (Google Streetview)
Additional COVID-19 exposures reported at two Saanich schools

New dates of exposure added to Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PODCAST: COVID-19 pandemic hits Island’s food service industry hard

Pair of Vancouver Island restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

Most Read